The former Toon boss, speaking on Sky Sports, also revealed that he came “very, very close” to taking the imposing hitman back to St. James’ Park during his own tenure at the club, but has suggested that now the deal has gone ahead, as shared by the player himself, it will be a positive one.
He said: “He’s a fan favourite. Everything about a signing is about what they can do on the field, but also it is about media, fan’s expectations, and actually walking into that dressing room.
“If Andy Carroll walks into that dressing room, instant respect from the players, which is key.
“What he can do on the field will depend on injuries, but I think if it works out and he keeps fit, he could be an asset.”
It’s hard to argue with McClaren on this one, but the key, as has been the case throughout Carroll’s career, will be if he can remain fit. If he can, and the fact that he has passed all of his medical assessments is cause for optimism, then this could prove to be a truly inspired piece of business. Provided the finances aren’t too taxing, Carroll is exactly the kind of unifying spirit that the Toon Army can get behind. The fanbase love nothing more than a local boy done good, and this will feel like a proper homecoming. As for what he can do on the field, when he is in the mood, Carroll will leave a trail of destruction in his wake. Even last year, when his movement resembled that of a fridge-freezer more than a Premier League striker, he still managed to win 9.1 aerial duels for West Ham per 90 minutes he played, as per Whoscored. The Toon will be buzzing and you can understand why.